Want fun and money from recruitment? Make these 4 changes

Agency recruiters are about to enter a new golden era. More fun. More money. It’s all about to open up.

But not everyone will rise on the tide. Just relying on a recovery will be your biggest mistake. The benefits will not flow to everyone evenly. We will have to provide something very different to what we provided before.

You have to act now. Especially in regard to candidates. We need to act before the well runs dry and our clients come to us for help, and we cannot deliver.

But, I hear you cry, what should we change? Good question. Most recruiters do feel the need evolve, but don’t know where to start.

There are four key areas of change that every recruitment company must focus on to thrive in the future. Every recruiter too, must refresh their skill-set and learn new tactics to ensure a brighter future.

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We must develop very new strategies for each arena. We cannot carry on the way we have always done.

1: Find unique talent our clients cannot.

That is going to need a total mindset change for almost all of us. And an investment in new technologies and different people skills. We have to develop specific, tailored plans to get access to these unique candidates. And what is a ‘unique candidate’?

Candidates not available to our clients, and candidates who have not yet started their job search, through a competitor, or themselves.

Job boards and LinkedIn are most certainly now ‘old school’ tools in my opinion. Yes, they have a place as long as they work, but increasingly, they won’t.

Your database you are so proud of? Mostly it’s a candidate graveyard. The candidate data is out of date, you don’t know who is in there anyway, no one has engaged with them for years for sure, and we can’t even search effectively in many cases, because our ATS/CRM is creaking at the seams.

You must now change your definition of a ‘candidate’.

A candidate is not only a person who ‘applies’ for a job. A candidate is anyone who is suitable for clients’ roles, looking or not.

Our brief is identification of the right skills, then seduction of the candidate.

We have to think about smart use of social, predictive recruitment through big data and CRM, and most certainly we have to take a longer view on developing candidate pipelines and building massive social communities.

2: Build new ways to engage with clients.

Most recruiters are still approaching client development 1999 style. Cold calling, mass mailings. Nothing innovative. In fact I find myself saying something that even I would have considered absurd a few years ago.

Our business is no longer ‘all about sales’. It’s about marketing.

The full gamut of marketing too, including branding, SEO, CRM, social, automated and digital engagement. Our individual recruiters should invest more in marketing, including branding, and social activity, than they do in old school, hard-core sales. It’s a digital world, driven by consumer marketing tactics, and we have to totally reinvent in this area. The idea is to reverse the paradigm. We are looking to build in-bound client enquiries, generated via digital engagement mostly. And then consummated with human interaction and relationship building, old school style.

3: Develop a new style of recruiter.

I have spoken of the dinosaur recruiter before. It’s at crises stage now. The job has changed. The candidate’s behavior has changed. Clients needs have changed. But most recruiters have NOT changed.

The modern recruiter is a digital researcher, a sourcing specialist, a branding expert, a networker, and a master component of the ‘craft’ of recruitment. (Watch for my upcoming blog where I am going spell out the new components of the modern recruiter in detail. Skills you need. People you should hire.)

4: The structure of most agencies has never changed.

Same roles. People doing the same things.

In fact many recruitment companies are getting better at things they no longer should actually be doing!

We need deeper expertise in key areas, instead of shallow threadbare skills across the entire recruitment spectrum. Expecting a graduate with two years experience in a bank, and a one-week agency induction, to suddenly be a ‘recruiter’ in what is now a highly sophisticated business has become ludicrous – notwithstanding it happens everywhere.

We need marketing expertise, branding ninjas, geeky digital ‘ethical hacking’ experts, as well as business winners and transactors. We need to divide the recruiter role and specialise. I propose a new agency structure, all to be spelt out in an upcoming blog.

In fact you need an individual, evolved plan for each key strategic area. And then you need to implement, fast.

If not, the new Golden Era of recruitment will be something you hear about, not participate in.

And that will not be very cool at all. For you I mean.


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About Greg Savage

Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.

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13 Responses to Want fun and money from recruitment? Make these 4 changes

  1. Xenia Duffy Obel March 24, 2015 at 7:59 am #

    Exited to read this post – I just wrote the same post from the other side of the table :)!

  2. Sandra March 24, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    Looking forward to the next installment.

  3. Yuriy Shevchenko March 24, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

    I’m all ears Greg, really I am.

    How do you going about teaching the workings of iTunes and Spotify to someone who still listens to gramaphone records? Where do we “old timers” start with our next stage of evolution?

    • Greg Savage March 25, 2015 at 12:04 am #

      Did you come to my recent speaking event which went to every city in Australia and NZ? I spent 4 hours giving you the answers there. If you did not, you are not REALLY all ears are you? 🙂

  4. Yuriy Shevchenko March 25, 2015 at 1:53 am #

    I’m based in Germany, Greg.

    Still all ears 😉

  5. Kelly Adamson March 25, 2015 at 6:46 am #

    I was present at your speaking event in Christchurch and it was hugely beneficial and motivating. All the answers were covered absolutely! This was a great read to refresh and go back on what you covered during the course of the event.

  6. simon halkyard April 10, 2015 at 1:47 am #

    Great blog Greg! Social media changed everything, now everyone has the same giant database in LinkedIN. In years gone by just having jobs covered up the cracks of poor recruiters but now candidates have the real option of just going direct to clients. Having jobs is not enough.
    We spend so much time explaining the added value we can provide to candidates. The difference of having a good recruiter who can support with everything from role playing interviews and improving a candidates interview technique to securing a better package than an internal recruiter is so valuable. Really enjoyed reading your points of view.

  7. Jo Rowbotham April 22, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    Greg as always a great read! The truth is that recruiters, HR teams and even the job boards all need to learn from Marketing (and I’m not saying that because I am a Marketer). The candidate experience of the employer’s brand is driven by their experience and interactions with in the company. What a candidate sees on social media and how the people behind the recruitment drive deal with the candidate are important. A recruiter has to go out and earn their fee rather than just shuffling a few CVs around.

  8. Phil Cookson May 1, 2015 at 2:53 am #

    Agree with all your comments and i’m pleased as we’ve implemented most of them some time ago and have seen that we are on the right track.

  9. Mark June 23, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    Brilliant Greg, I have been saying this for years that the recruiter’s role is changing. It changed for me in 2009 when the recession had hit. It made me look at the role differently – and even more so today.

    I’ve done away with BD targets and stuffy call times. Gave the recruiter the business plan to write, shown them what they get when it’s achieved – and then developed/coached them. No stuffy meetings about how they didn’t do 100 calls yesterday – but redeveloped their core focus on important things – Jobs, interviews and Candidate generation.

    At the core of this also – is building trust. Trust that is real. Trust with everyone – candidates, clients, consultants and managers. Most agencies need to learn the art of patients as well.

  10. Balkrishna Dadhich July 17, 2015 at 1:04 am #

    Great Greg, awesomely written & explained, I wonder someone would come up with a recruitment agency flowchart & a must needed RCM (revenue cycle management)

    Stay awesome \m/

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